Understanding ADHD and Its Causes – Essential Requirements For Parents

ADHD assessments for children and teenagers

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder diagnosed in children, teens and adults. Symptoms include inattention, impulsive behavior, poor concentration, running (in classroom especially), inability to control anger, careless mistakes and a number of others.

Understanding and Addressing Causes of ADHD

ADHD is a disorder which often has causes. Joel Nigg, PhD of Michigan State University, wrote the scientifically-oriented and authoritative book, What Causes ADHD? Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why; he examines the topic largely by evaluating scientific and clinical studies, concluding that there are more than likely causes to the disorder.

While there is scientific evidence for likely causes of ADHD, Nigg concludes that there are many causes for ADHD, that while likely, but that at the time of the writing of his book, 2006, many of these possible causes needed more research in order to reach firm conclusions. Since the writing of What Causes ADHD? some scientific evidence has been provided for hypotheses suggested by Nigg, such as the correlation between playing excessive or violent video games and adhd child symptoms. (Iowa State University, 2012).

Some causes of ADHD are correlational rather than cause and effect. Isolating a single cause of the disorder is difficult, as there are so many factors that are intertwined.

Creating the perfect study in isolating one factor is difficult if not impossible in many instances. However, lifestyle does play a role in the development of ADHD, and this is true in both adults and children.

Positive Lifestyle Changes and Developing Coping Strategies Positively Affects Lessening Intensity of ADHD Symptoms

Lifestyle as a cause for ADHD does not have to be addressed from a negative perspective; rather, by making incremental positive lifestyle changes, which in some cases can be as simple as giving attention to nutrition and instituting an exercise regimen or program, can make the difference between a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, and a disorder which comes under the threshold of diagnosable. In other words, by reducing symptoms or intensity of symptoms, using the criteria of the DSM-IV, or DSM-V (2013), the individual, in this case child, being evaluated no longer qualifies for an ADHD label. Lifestyle changes can accomplish this for many if not most children diagnosed with ADHD.

Of course, the type of changes that need to be addressed vary from child to child, teen to teen and adult to adult. For some this might be very simple, for others, issues are more deep-rooted, and in some cases there are difficult to address social issues unique to that child or family unit.

The book Rethinking ADHD: Integrated Approaches to Helping Children at Home and at School by Australian psychotherapists, helps to shed light on some of the sociological issues that might be involved in some situations of ADHD.

Conclusion to Understanding ADHD

There is not a cookie-cutter formula for the development of ADHD in a child, but there are some patterns that hold true for subsets or groups of those who develop or who are labeled with the disorder.

Additionally, there is evidence that prenatal, genetic and environmental factors can also be involved in the development of ADHD.

This information can be empowering for parents as they endeavor to help their child (or teen) cope with and overcome symptoms of ADHD, or overcome the disorder itself.

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